Taxi or rideshare (or something else?) in L.A. with a toddler?
June 24, 2017 4:07 PM   Subscribe

We’re trying to find the best way for the two of us and our toddler to get to and from a wedding in LA (we are staying around Chinatown, wedding is downtown). Taxi? Ride share? Something else?

We are visting LA with our son, a little over two years old.

The three of us are going to a wedding tonight. We’d like to take a rideshare (uber/lyft/whatever?) so that we can get there quickly and easily, not stress about parking, and be able to drink at the wedding.

What’s the best way to do this?

From what I can see, car-seat laws mean it’s not legal to get into an uber or lyft with a toddler, since they usually won’t have a car seat, and there’s not way (I don’t think?) to request a car with a car seat.

Where we come from (Toronto), it’s legal to get into a taxi with toddler without a car seat (since taxis are considered public transit). Not sure if that’s true in LA. Also not sure what the best way is to get a cab here if it is true.

So what’s the best way for us to get there and back?

- Is there a ride-share that offers car seats?

- Can we take a taxi? If so, what is the best way to do it?

- Is there some other option we are not thinking of?

posted by ManInSuit to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (9 answers total)
Check the uber website-- there seems to be car seats available for a smallchharge
posted by calgirl at 4:28 PM on June 24, 2017

Here's the Uber Car Seat page. Looks like it costs an extra $10.

Santa Monica Taxi also offers car seats for $10 extra, but they're typically based in Santa Monica and stick to the west side, so I'm not sure they'd do a Chinatown--> Downtown trip as that's short and they'd likely lose money just getting there.
posted by bluecore at 4:33 PM on June 24, 2017

Response by poster: Near as I can tell uber only offers car seats in a few cities, and LA is not one of them.

( suggests it's NYC, DC and Philly online).

When I open the uber app I don't see any car seat option. Maybe I am missing something. (I hope I'm missing something, but I don't think I am).
posted by ManInSuit at 5:01 PM on June 24, 2017

Hmm. I didn't know LA isn't an Uber car city yet. If you're in Chinatown, you're actually only about a mile from downtown LA, depending on where they weddings being held, so potentially only two or three stops on a bus. If you put both addresses in Google Maps and switch to mass transit, it'll you a good idea if it's feasible. LA Metro also has a trip planner which should tell you the cost and confirm the bus schedule.
posted by bluecore at 5:44 PM on June 24, 2017

How old is your toddler? Too small/young for a booster seat? My kids are a bit older but still use boosters, and we have been using a Bubble Bum for Lyft rides, including when we travel. They are inflatable boosters that work really well and you can just bring one along with you. I have not tried to order a carseat for a Lyft or Uber, but we've had bad luck with car seats from car rental places (specifically, showing up and them not having one in stock in spite of a reservation) so we just prefer to have our own on hand.
posted by xeney at 11:10 PM on June 24, 2017

Take the metro! I just got back from a vacation in L.A. And found that compared to D.C.'s system the L.A. metro is just as efficient, more cost effective, and dramatically underutilized. I always found a seat and system navigation was straightforward.
posted by donut_princess at 3:27 AM on June 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

I did see this on a site from 2011 after googling "Los Angeles taxi with infant": buses and taxis are exempt from child seat laws in the city of Los Angeles.

You could also check out car services which will be more expensive but maybe more reliable re actually having what you requested.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:17 AM on June 25, 2017

Stroller. It’s a 15 minute walk, surely?
posted by DangerIsMyMiddleName at 5:55 PM on June 25, 2017

Response by poster: What we ended up doing was:

Taking our own car seat into an uber with us.

The car seat we have with us (for our rental car) is an Immi Go, which is pretty portable and easy to install and take out.

This worked very well for us!

(wrt other answers: Walking and transit are both great ideas but seemed impractical given the specifics of the location. Also - the cab company we called told us- whether correctly or not - that toddlers in taxis do need a car seat by law in LA, but that cab companies as a rule do not provide them)
posted by ManInSuit at 9:24 PM on June 25, 2017

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